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ened their fields and, realizing that they run little risk and that the dangers are all assumed by the smaller craft, have added to their stock in trade and are bringing in everything and anything of value that is highly dutiable. Carpets, rugs, silks, laces, furs and gloves, shoes and heaven knows what, help fill the holds of the rum running fleet and even human contraband,-excluded Asiatics and Chinese,-are smuggled ashore from the smugglers' ships. We seem powerless to meet the situation, but unless some means is found to triumph over the smugglers we might as well close up our customs department, for our import tariffs will be little more than a farce.
There is still another and even graver danger in the situation. It is no wild dream of fancy, no exaggerated flight of the imagination to consider the possibility of these smugglers becoming pirates.
Among them are utterly reckless, unprincipled, unscrupulous men; just the timber of which pirates are made, and if an out-and-out rum runner can become an out-and-out smuggler, cannot that outand-out smuggler become an equally out-and-out pirate? Such things happened with disconcerting frequency in the past, and at any time, if given the opportunity and sufficient temptation, the crews that man the smuggling craft hanging off our coast may cast aside all restraint and take the part of freebooters. They have already dabbled not a little in the art of piracy among themselves, and battles as bloody, as fatal and as decisive as any of the old buccaneers' have taken place on the decks of rum runners' ships. Of course, as long as they confine such activities to their fellows and make prizes only of smuggling craft, no one cares a continental whether they play pirate or not. But what is to prevent an armed, ocean-going vessel, or a fleet already maritime outlaws,-from attacking and looting any merchantman that comes along? And who can say that it has not already been done? Who can be sure that missing vessels and missing crews have been lost through stress of storm and have not fallen victims to modern pirates off our coasts?
And there is still another phase of the matter to which little thought has been given. Lawlessness is as contagious as small pox or cholera, and the example of one lawbreaker kindles the spark that starts a train of crimes. The open defiance, the success of the liquor smugglers is a constant, a deadly, terrible menace to our peace and safety ashore. Countless criminals, emboldened by the acts of the smugglers, undertake and carry out desperate daring deeds. It is not at all improbable or unlikely that the wave of crimes, of hold-ups and assaults, of robberies and murders, that has swept the country, and New York particularly, may be traced directly to the presence and activities of the liquor smugglers who defy the mighty power of the United States.
CHAPTER IX THE MOST DESPICABLE OF SMUGGLERS
DERHAPS the greatest menace that faces us, the 1 most serious phase of smuggling, is the smuggling of drugs. And the presence of the rum running fleet, the comparative freedom and immunity with which the liquor smugglers carry on their trade, and the ease with which the small craft can carry contraband from the smugglers' ships to shore, make this awful traffic possible and simple. Even those who look upon liquor smuggling as no crime, who feel the Volstead Law an unjust abrogation of personal rights, and who encourage the smugglers by purchasing the contraband liquor, must realize, if they stop to think, that they are thereby aiding and abetting the most despicable and depraved class of criminals in the world,--the drug peddlers.
If one article can be smuggled into the land, so can another. The same boat that brings liquor ashore can equally well bring opium, heroin, cocaine or any other drugs. And while the individual smuggler, who brings in a few ounces or pounds of a narcotic in his baggage or on his person, may now and then get by the officials, the rum running boats bring in unlimited quantities if they desire. And the monetary rewards for smuggling in drugs are a hundred times greater than for smuggling in liquor, while the actual risks are no more. How much has already been landed no one can say, and were it not for the fact that even the most flagrant and unprincipled rum runners will not as a rule debase themselves sufficiently to be parties to this dastardly game, the country would long since have been flooded with drugs. We may, in fact, thank Heaven that even smugglers possess some degree of honor and decency and draw the line at drug smuggling, for otherwise we would be in a sorry plight indeed. Of course, in order to smuggle narcotics into a country, the smuggler must first obtain the drugs, and, thanks to international laws and the participation of most civilized lands in a united effort to stamp out the drug traffic, it is no easy or simple matter to obtain a large stock of narcotics in most places. But despite every effort, opium is still manufactured and is smuggled out of China and the Orient. Hasheesh is still widely used and is easily obtainable in India and wherever there are East Indians. The betel-nut can be purchased almost as freely as cocoanuts in many places in Java and the East Indies, as well as in some